ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – More dead dolphins washed up in Alabama and Mississippi Thursday (Mar. 3) bringing the number to 51 so far this year. Five more washed ashore today one of them was in Orange Beach.
“When I first saw it, I made a joke I sure hope that’s not a person.” A dead dolphin on the beach is not the way Ron Sandahl wanted to start his day. “I walked down here to see what it was. I wasn’t happy.”
The young male dolphin, about five feet long washed ashore near the Holiday Inn Express.
“We went on the dolphin rides yesterday and we saw all these kinds of pretty dolphins that were alive and you come across this dolphin, quite shocking,” says Michelle Izzo visiting from Michigan.
Marine biologists from the Institute of Marine Mammals Studies arrived late in the afternoon. “We got a call this morning about the dolphin on the beach. We came out to study the carcass and bring it back to our facility for further analysis,” says research assistant Becky Winstead.
Marine biologists aren’t saying much about what is causing all the dolphin deaths which leaves it wide open for all kinds of speculation.
“They’re picking up chunks of the oil that’s coming in, I wonder if that’s part of the problem?”
After about thirty minutes, the biologists headed back to Gulfport and the carcass was removed from the beach. For tourists like Sandahl, this was not the memory they wanted to take home from their visit to the Gulf Coast. “I’m never gonna bring it up. It’s nothing I ever want to see again.”
A necropsy is planned Friday in Gulfport but it could still be weeks before we know what scientists believe is causing the unusually high number of dolphin deaths along our coast.